Freethought of the Day

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There are 2 entries for this date: Terry Jones and Langston Hughes
Terry Jones

Terry Jones

On this date in 1942, comedian, writer and director Terry Jones was born in Colway Bay, North Wales. He graduated with a degree in modern history from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. His first successful TV show, in which he paired up with Michael Palin, was "The Love Show" (1965). Jones became part of the classic British comedy TV show, "Monty Python's Flying Circus" (1969-1974), with Palin, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle. Jones' irreverent credits include writing and directing the films "Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail" (1975), "Life of Brian" (1979), and "The Meaning of Life" (1983).

There are Jews in the world, there are Buddhists,
There are Hindus and Mormons and then
There are those that follow Mohammed, but
I've never been one of them.

I'm a Roman Catholic,
And have been since before I was born,
And the one thing they say about Catholics is
They'll take you as soon as you're warm.

You don't have to be a six footer,
You don't have to have a great brain,
You don't have to have any clothes on,
You're a Catholic the moment Dad came, because

Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great,
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great,
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

Let the heathen spill theirs,
On the dusty ground,
God shall make them pay for
Each sperm that can't be found.

Every sperm is wanted,
Every sperm is good,
Every sperm is needed,
In your neighborhood.

Hindu, Taoist, Mormon,
Spill theirs just anywhere,
But God loves those who treat their
Semen with more care.

Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great,
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is good,
Every sperm is needed,
In your neighborhood.

Every sperm is useful,
Every sperm is fine,
God needs everybody's,
Mine, and mine, and mine.

Let the pagans spill theirs,
O'er mountain, hill and plain.
God shall strike them down for
Each sperm that's spilt in vain.

Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is good,
Every sperm is needed,
In your neighborhood.

Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great,
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

—"Every Sperm is Sacred," song and words by Michael Palin and Terry Jones (1983)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor; Photo by Helga Esteb, Shutterstock.com

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

On this day in 1901, Langston Hughes was born in Missouri. (Research belatedly found in 2018 that Hughes, who had claimed to be born in 1902, had shaved a year off of his age.) For four decades Hughes chronicled the black experience and perspective in powerful poetry, fiction, nonfiction and children's books. The Nation published his influential essay, "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain" (1926), in which Hughes advocated racial pride and independent artistry, giving the Harlem Renaissance its due. He enrolled at Columbia University and finished his degree at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, in 1926.

His first book of poetry was The Weary Blues, his first novel Not Without Laughter (1930), and his first book of short stories The Ways of White Folks. His play Mulatto (1935) ran successfully on Broadway. His autobiography, The Big Sea, came out in 1940, followed in 1956 with I Wonder As I Wander. Among his many other books was Jim Crow's Last Stand (1943). His satire on corruption in black storefront churches, Tambourines to Glory (1963), was not popular with black clergy. Hughes, who traveled widely all his life, had visited the Soviet Union, and was forced to appear before McCarthy's "unAmerican" committee in 1953. Hughes wrote a signature column for 20 years for the Chicago Defender. D. 1967.

Listen, Christ,
You did alright in your day, I reckon—
But that day's gone now.
They ghosted you up a swell story, too,
Called it Bible—
But it's dead now.
The popes and the preachers've
Made too much money from it.
They've sold you to too many.

—Langston Hughes, "Goodbye Christ," The Langston Hughes Review (1993)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

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